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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
Photo by Josephine Flohr, Elephant at Camp, Namibia

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Photo by Josephine Flohr,
Elephant at Camp, Namibia

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Old 15 Nov 2011
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Most dangerous roads in Africa?

Hi chaps

Anyone got any thoughts on the most dangerous roads in Africa? Sounds weird but it's research for a TV programme..... we're not after politically dangerous (as in mines and Al Qaeda), but more geographically dangerous - landslides, mud, potholes, mountains. And also roads with an interesting story. If anyone's got any thoughts, opinions of African road horror stories I'd love to hear them!



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Old 15 Nov 2011
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Hello Ants,

have a look there:
Wüstenschiff • Anmelden

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Old 15 Nov 2011
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Strange request.. people usually ask the opposite.

It also depends on what you mean by "roads". I would say that the skeleton coast ride done by Metaljocke & his pals would qualify as one of the most dangerous one. See what I mean.

But if you're after a proper road, then I would start with DRC. Roads are in a shamble and traffic in the country has come to a virtual standstill, particularly so during the rains. It had been shown by Al-Jazeera.

During my crossing of DRC it wasn't quite so bad (it was dry) but it was still epic; I ended up loading the bike on a truck, and that's when it became even worse.. Donkey and the Mule have been there too, and they had quite an.. eventful trip.

With some googling, you'll find interesting stories about 2 short stretches that compete as the worst roads on the east coast: Moyale to Isiolo and on the west coast: Mamfe to Ekok. Maybe not the most dangerous though, YMMV.

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Old 15 Nov 2011
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Strange question , what is your motivation ? , I did my big cross Africa trip 20 years ago and did some other ride there and my experience is that you can surprise pretty much anywhere in Africa and that what can start as an easy ride off road can turn into a nightmare but in my case its not what I am looking for.
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Old 15 Nov 2011
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Representatives of this TV show (or what I assume is the same TV show) have asked elsewhere about "most dangerous roads." However, they don't seem particularly interested in "most dangerous," but rather in "most easily sold to a gullible, stay-at-home audience."

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I would invite the OP to give share some details.

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Old 17 Nov 2011
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Hi Ants BK,

you may want to have a look at crossing the Omo River and Ilemi Triangle (South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia):

Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) to Juba (South Sudan) - Gentleman Adventurer

For potholes, Zambia is my personal Nr. 1. Broke a Landcruiser chassis.

Bribing the border guards at the Sani Pass (Lesotho) for a drive up in a small (non 4x4) rent-a-car is also quite an adventure.
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Old 17 Nov 2011
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Originally Posted by markharf View Post
... they don't seem particularly interested in "most dangerous," but rather in "most easily sold to a gullible, stay-at-home audience."

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I would invite the OP to give share some details.

Or maybe it'll paint the continent in a bad light, as a nasty place, which is hardly what it needs nor its people want.
Definitely the OP should say exactly what angle and image the programme is aiming to present.
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Old 17 Nov 2011
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How about the M1 on a Friday afternoon or the M62 in winter, no shear cliffs or raging torrents just a lot of stupid folk who switch their sense off and drive nose to tail at 80+ in the fast lane, thinking it's not them but the inconsiderate bastard in front who should move over, and they can't pull over because there's someone in the middle lane who thinks the inside lane is exclusively for HGVs ........
Anything can happen in the next half hour
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Old 2 Dec 2011
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Hello chaps

Thanks for all the responses, really kind and helpful.

It is for a TV show for the BBC, and what we want to show is roads that are not dangerous politically, but roads which have got a really interesting back-story (ie Road of Bones in Siberia, built by gulag inmates, to access Siberia's vast mineral resources) and which are really hard to drive - either because they are extremely cold, or hot, or hard because of geophysical features.

I hope this answers people's queries and thanks again for the advice.


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Old 18 Dec 2011
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Just did 1 year down West / Central Africa - our take is as follows:

You can pretty much drive on tarmac all the way now so things only get bad if you drive off road these days with the following exceptions:
  1. Roads running North in Western Nigeria - worst potholes on our entire trip. Lots of bad driving, accidents, fuel trucks, men with guns and checkpoints (22 in 22km was a record for us). Great country and great people so don't let that put you off.
  2. Mud in N/W Cameroon - time the season wrong and you will be joining lots of people stuck in mud. Can also happen in dry season after heavy rain.
  3. Western Senegal towards Mali - just bad potholes and frustrating driving.
  4. Road from DRC border to Luanda in Angola - beautiful country but road is in bad state of repair. Tetse flies are also a pain in the arse!
  5. Road from Franceville Gabon into Congo - being tarred as we speak but is basically 150 miles of sand / dirt - bad in wet!
  6. Dune driving - possible if you go off road and have to traverse sand fields / dunes - depends where you are going - the novelty of getting stuck, digging out and recovery will soon wear off. Be prepared as the heat (48'C in our case) can start to do strange things to things like seals etc.....

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